Populations of feral domestic cats have increased throughout the United States, affecting wildlife and warranting attention from a variety of management agencies. This contentious issue requires a greater understanding of public attitudes and preferences for population control. We used data from a 2004 mail survey of Illinois, USA, homeowners' attitudes towards wildlife and conservation to investigate support for the trap–neuter–release (TNR) of feral cats and to examine factors (demographic, experience, and wildlife values orientations) that may influence preference for TNR as a management option. Age, gender, and wildlife rights values orientations were significant predictors of preference for TNR, while negative experiences with feral cats were correlated with preferences for management options other than TNR. Investigations of public perceptions of feral cat management can help wildlife managers understand the growing public debate regarding feral cat management and provide appropriate input and educational materials regarding cat management and wildlife.
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Vol. 74 • No. 1